Unheralded UConn FB Sherman contributes wherever he can to help Huskies win

Storrs - Zach Hurd learned something new during an informal workout Tuesday morning with fellow captains Anthony Sherman and Scott Lutrus.

Sherman, who scored 48 career touchdowns during his scholastic days in North Attleboro, Mass., has a big goose egg in four seasons (41 games) as UConn's fullback.

And Lutrus, the Huskies' injured linebacker, wasn't too subtle in reminding Sherman of that fact, said Hurd, who relayed the following:

"Scott and Sherm starting going back and forth making fun of each other, and then Scott says, 'Well, at least I have more touchdowns than you. How does that feel?' Then Sherm says, 'Oh yeah, I have more tackles than you this year. How does that feel?'"

Actually, Lutrus is ahead on both counts - 2-0 in career TDs and 7-3 in tackles this season - but Hurd, the Huskies' starting right guard and leader of the offensive line, hopes that will change this season.

"We've got to get Sherm one," he said.

Even if it doesn't happen, don't expect Sherman to complain.

"It would be great to have a touchdown," said Sherman, a 5-foot-11, 240-pound block of granite who has never missed a game. "But we're winning games so it doesn't really matter."

That's all you need to know about Sherman, a former 1,000-yard rusher and Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year who is perfectly content playing a supporting role at UConn.

"Not everybody's gonna be a star," coach Randy Edsall said Tuesday as the Huskies began to prepare for Saturday's game at Temple (noon, SNY). "Not everybody's gonna carry the ball 25 times, not everybody's gonna catch 10 passes, but you need those guys who are going to do the grunt work, the dirty work. That's basically what Anthony does and he does it extremely well and he takes pride in it."

Sherman has also made his mark on special teams. He has 52 career tackles on punt and kickoff return coverage, including a forced fumble late in the first half of Saturday's 62-3 win over Texas Southern that led to a touchdown.

"I've always watched the (NFL) Crunch Course videos and I learned from the greats back in the day when they used to do it," Sherman said. "It's one of those aspects of the game people sometimes don't look at. It's one of the three things that makes a team great, and I just try to be the best guy out there to help my team win."

Hurd, for one, never misses Sherman flying down the field on kickoff coverage, "because I know something exciting is going to happen."

Sherman has only 10 career carries (for 30 yards), but has been a proven weapon as a receiver out of the backfield with 40 career catches for 378 yards.

His versatility as a blocker, receiver and special teams performer is similar to his predecessor - current Dallas Cowboys starting fullback Deon Anderson - and something Edsall said intrigues NFL scouts.

"I think he will definitely get a chance," Edsall said. "There's a guy who maybe has a limited number of times on offense, but he knows he can make an impact on special teams and he does it. That's what NFL people look for. They look for guys that can contribute in a lot of ways and guys that are unselfish."

Sherman said if an NFL opportunity arises, great. If not, he will have his degree and plans to follow the footsteps of his two uncles into law enforcement.

He might even earn an invitation into the offensive linemen's fraternity.

"Maybe we'll give him a guest pass," Hurd said. "We can't let him fully in. He doesn't have enough fat on him."

c.banning@theday.com

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